New citizenship test set to be unveiled
October 18, 2009
Sir Donald Bradman has been hit for six as the federal government launches a fairer and more relevant new citizenship test on Monday.
Potential new Australian citizens will be quizzed on their understanding of their civic duty and responsibilities of citizenship rather than facing questions about Australia's sporting heroes.
The Don, however, will still get a mention as the “greatest cricketer of all time” but there won't be any questions about him.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans said an independent review of the old citizenship test last year found that it could be improved by focusing on the pledge of commitment.
“The new test is not a general knowledge quiz about Australia,” Senator Evans said.
“We want people applying for citizenship to understand the values of Australian society, our democratic beliefs, our rights and our system of law and what it means to be an Australian citizen.
“All prospective citizens should understand those concepts so all of the questions in the new citizenship test focus on the commitments that new citizens make in the pledge.”
Potential citizens will now need to answer 75 per cent or 15 of the 20 questions correctly to pass – up from 60 per cent under the old test.
However, the mandatory questions have been removed to make the test fairer.
All questions are now equally important and a person can no longer answer 19 out of 20 questions correctly and still fail the test because one of the three mandatory questions was incorrectly answered.
“This will ensure that we encourage people to become citizens without the test being a barrier,” Senator Evans said.
Topics include the significance of Anzac Day, the role of the governor-general, laws and government, and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.
A citizenship course is also under development to help disadvantaged people who, because of issues such as limited literacy and schooling, are likely to struggle when preparing for and sitting a formal computer-based test.